The signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Egyptian Ministry of Health and international medical company PerkinElmer and its local agent HVD Egypt in Cairo on Wednesday (Photo courtesy of the Health Ministry)
Under the deal, PerkinElmer will cooperate with the health ministry and Egyptian Authority for Unified Procurement (UPA) to establish a state-of-the-art laboratory to conduct beta-thalassemia tests for pre-marriage tests in the country.
PerkinElmer will also cooperate with the health ministry and the UPA in a pilot study to detect and treat spinal muscular atrophy (SMA); a disease which constitutes 19 percent of all neuromuscular diseases in Egypt, according to a cabinet statement.
The deal was signed by Egyptian Minister of Health and Population Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar, Chairman of the UPA Bahaa El-Din Zidan on the one hand and PerkinElmer CEO Prahlad Singh and General Manager of HVD Egypt Mohamed Abul Naga on the other.
The signing ceremony was attended by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly.
In 2008, Egypt mandated would-be couples to undergo compulsory medical examinations to screen genetic and infectious diseases.
In February, the government mandated new for would-be couples, including tests for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, AIDS, Thalassemia, Sickle Cell Disease, RH factor blood test, Hemoglobin, Blood Sugar level and Blood Type.
Egypt and PerkinElmer will also develop screening for newborns and next-generation screening capabilities.
PerkinElmer will also provide plans to develop the central laboratories of the health ministry, including the genome laboratory, added the statement.
The agreement comes in line with the country's plan to establish a genome centre to identify the genetic characteristics of various diseases.